Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell, came in for a tongue lashing in the House of Assembly last night.
Opposition Member of Parliament for St Michael North Ronald Toppin accused Dr Worrell of politicizing reports on the Barbados economy.
Speaking on the Barbados Labour Party’s motion of no confidence against the Freundel Stuart Government, Toppin singled out a section of the Central Bank’s latest quarterly economic report where, he said, only debt incurred by a past BLP administration was listed.
He referred specifically to Table Five in the document released yesterday, where there is a chart of outstanding public debt, but under the category of ‘External Debt’, he said only a sum of $249.9 million was listed, even though the total debt was$2.89 billion.
Toppin argued that the inclusion of only the debt created by the last BLP Government was politically motivated. It was money owed for the new Dodds prison, he said.
Immediately under that listing, Toppin said there was itemized domestic debt for Justice Improvement, the Coast Guard and ABC Highway, amounting to $136.8 million, but the total domestic debt was $6.5 billion.
“All three, of course, are Barbados Labour Party debts,” Toppin said, adding: “No mention at all [is made] of Democratic Labour Party debt”.
As an example of the ruling party’s debt that was missing in the report, he spoke of “the $120 million that went into Four Seasons, down the drain that Barbadians have to pay.
“No mention of that at all in the domestic debt schedule in the Central Bank report, none of the billions of dollars in debt that the Democratic Labour Party has racked up,” Toppin said.
The Opposition MP attacked the reliability of information provided in the Central Bank’s quarterly reports and condemned the release only yesterday of 2016 first quarter performance data, which was due since mid-April.
“The Central Bank is deciding when it is going to release information, so that only today some [three weeks] after it was due, the Central Bank released information on the first quarter of the year,” Toppin said.
“Investors look at these things to decide how they are going to behave . . . . No wonder there is such lack of confidence in the Government of the day,” he added.